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International Journal of Applied 
and Natural Sciences (UANS) 

ISSN(P): 2319-4014; ISSN(E): 2319-4022 
Vol. 5, Issue 1, Dec - Jan 2016; 75-82 
© IASET 



IASET 



International Academy of Science, 
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Connecting Researchers; Nurturing Innovations 



PROFITABLE EXPLOITATION OF COFFEE PULP- A REVIEW 

ADWITIYA DAS 1 & N. VENKATACHALAPATHY 2 

'Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Pudukkottai Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India 
Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Pudukkottai Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India 



ABSTRACT 

Wastes from agricultural products are increasing from growing and processing of food materials. Due to 
advancement of production technology, considerable attention has to be given to agro-industry waste management. Coffee 
is the second largest traded product and generates a considerable amount of by products during processing. Coffee pulp is 
the major by product obtained during wet processing which consists of nearly 45% by weight of coffee cherry. The coffee 
pulp cause environmental problems due to lack of efficient disposal. This paper focuses on the utilization of coffee pulp in 
various aspects. It exploits the utilization of pulp for the production of enzymes, mushrooms, gallic acid and ethanol. 
Primary attention has been given to extraction of phenolic compounds from coffee pulp which ranked it as a valuable 
source of natural antioxidants. Its application in livestock feed and fertilizers have also been explored. 

KEYWORDS: Antioxidants, Coffee Pulp, Enzymes, Livestock Feed, Waste Management 

INTRODUCTION 

Coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world belonging to the family Rubiaceae, Subfamily 
Cinchonoideae and Tribe Coffeae (Clifford et al., 1989). The Rubiaceae members are largely tropical or subtropical 
comprising nearly 400 genera and 4800-5000 species. Botanically, coffee belongs to the genus Coffea of the family 
Rubiaceae. The sub-genus Coffea is reported to compromise over 80 species, which are prevalent in Africa and 
Madagascar (Bridson and Verdcourt, 1988). 

Arabica and Robusta are the two principal species of coffee harvested today. The fruits are oval and they mature 
in 7 to 9 months; they usually contain two flat seeds (the coffee beans)- when only one bean develops it is called a 
pea-berry. Arabica is grown at higher altitudes and its cultivation demands great care. Arabica are distinctly milder and 
more aromatic. Arabica coffee is grown throughout Latin America, in Central and East Africa, in India and to some extent 
in Indonesia. The term “Robusta” is actually the name of a widely grown variety of this species. The fruits are rounded 
and take up to 11 months to mature, the seeds are oval in shape and smaller than those of C. arabica. Robusta has higher 
caffeine content. Robusta coffee is grown in West and Central Africa, throughout South-East Asia and to some extent in 
Brazil, where it is known as Conillon. 

Major coffee growing countries have been distinguished under four regions: Africa, North and Central America, 
South America, Asia and Oceania regions. Across these regions, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Ethiopia, 
India, Guatemala, Cote de Ivory and Uganda are being recognized as top 10 coffee growing countries (Coffee Fair, 
2009). India is the producer of both Arabica and Robusta varieties of coffee in the proportion of 33:67. In India, coffee is 
cultivated in 4,15,341 hectares. Karnataka produces 71% coffee in India which constitutes the major districts of Coorg, 
Chikmaglur and Hassan. Kerala specializes in Robusta and Tamil Nadu in Arabica. The other non-conventional areas 



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Adwitiya Das & N. Venkatachalapathy 



include Coastal tribal Andhra Pradesh and Orissa and North-Eastern regions (14.9%). In the year 2009-2010, coffee 
production in India stood at 289,600 MT of which Arabica contributed 33% and Robusta contributed 67%. 

Coffee generates large amount of coffee by products/ restudies during processing from fruit to cup (Nabais et al., 
2008; Mussatto et al., 2011). Depending up on the method of coffee cherries processing i.e wet or dry process, roasting 
and brewing solid residues like pulp husk, silver skin and spent are obtained. The coffee husk/peel/pulp, comprises of 
nearly 45% cherry, and are the main byproducts of coffee industry. They are used for various purposes including extraction 
of caffeine and polyphenols because they are rich in nutrients (Esquivel and Jimenez, 2012). 

CHEMISTRY OF COFFEE PUEP 

Coffee pulp is obtained during wet processing of coffee. For every two tons of coffee produced one ton of coffee 
pulp is obtained (Roussos et al., 1995). Coffee pulp consists of protein (7.5-15.0%), fat (2. 0-7.0%), and carbohydrates 
(21-32%). It is also rich in minerals, especially potassium and contains appreciable amount of tannins, polyphenols and 
caffeine (Bressani et al., 1972). The organic components present in coffee pulp(dry weight) includes tannins 1.8-8.56%, 
total pectic substances 6.5%, reducing sugars 12.4%, non reducing sugars 2%, caffeine 1.3%, chlorogenic acid 2.6% and 
total caffeic acid 1.6% (Murthy and Naidu, 2012). 

Utilization of Coffee Pulp for Value Addition 
Enzymes and Secondary Metabolites 

Coffee by-products, especially coffee pulp and husk rich in carbohydrates, proteins, celluloses, hemicelluloses and 
minerals, offer potential opportunities to be used as substrate for many bioprocesses (Murthy and Manonmani, 2008). One 
of its earliest approaches on the application of coffee pulp and husk has been the production of various industrial enzymes 
such as pectinase, tannase, xylanase, caffeinase, cellulases, proteases, P-amylases, P-glucosidase and lipase etc 
(Pandey et al., 1999 ). Aspergillusniger was found to be a select potent culture for production of pectinase from coffee pulp 
by SSF (Boccasef al., 1994). SSF was carried out with coffee by-products as substrates for the production of pectinase with 
initial moisture content of 50% at 27°C using Aspergillusniger CFR 302 and fermenting for five days. Among the 
different coffee substrates, CP showed a highest activity of 7841+99 Ugds with 312.2 mg protein concentration 
(Pushpa, 201 1). Utilization of coffee pulp for production of tannase using P.verrucosum was also reported by Bhoite and 
Murthy (2015) where 3.93 fold increase of tannase production was achieved. Murthy et al. (2009) reported that coffee 
pulp produces more amylase than coffee cherry husk, silver skin, spent coffee and mixture of coffee waste when all were 
used as a substrate. Coffee pulp was also reported to be an efficient source for the production of polygalacturonase using 
A.niger (Antier et al., 1993). 

Gallic Acid 

Bhoite et al. (2013) studied the production of gallic acid through the transformation of coffee pulp tannins by 
P.verrucosum. Among the fungi isolated from coffee by-products, P.verrucosum produced 35.23 pg/g of gallic acid with 
coffee pulp as a sole carbon source in SSF. 

Production of Mushrooms 

Although first attempts on mushroom cultivation on coffee industry residues were made more than 10-15 years 
ago, not much work has been done still and only little published information is available. In 1982, isolation and 



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characterization of Plueurotus strains capable of growing on sterilized coffee pulp was reported. This was followed by a 
series of studies which have shown that coffee pulp, either as a sole substrate or mixed with other organic materials, is a 
good substrate for cultivation of the edible mushrooms Pleurotus, Lentinula and Auricularia. The biological efficiencies 
of P.ostreatus and P.pulmonarius strains obtained on coffee-pulp residues presented highest data (>100%) which was 
comparable to cardboard, paper waste and softboard residues (Martinez-Carrera et al., 2000). Moreover, yield of coffee 
waste was favoured for P.pulmonarius(Ve\azq\iez-Cedeno et al. 2002). This study concludes that the coffee pulp might be 
successfully employed in the cultivation of mushrooms, not only because of the production of extracellular enzymes when 
grown upon this substrate but also because of the abbreviated cultivation cycle associated with this medium favors 
commercial processes. 

Livestock Feed 

Coffee pulp has been reported to be used to feed farm animals (Mazzafera, 2002). The pulp has 12% protein 
content and its incorporation upto 20 % in cattle diet, 5% in poultry feed, 3% in bird and 16 % in pig feed has been 
recommended. CP showed potential as a feed ingredient in fish diets if fish are reared in earthen ponds or pens instead of 
concrete tanks and raceways. Coffee pulp ensiled alone and in combination with sugarcane stems, sugarcane tops or 
elephant grass ( Pennisetumpurpureum ) was studied in rations supplemented with urea and cowdung to yearling rams 
(Solomon-Demeke, 1991). On the basis of visual appraisal, good quality silage was produced from pure coffee pulp alone 
and in combination with the forages. Percentage composition of lignin, lignified protein and caffeine were highest in pure 
coffee pulp silage and decreased, as a result of dilution by the forages. In coffee pulp feed alone intake was low and 
animals lost weight on all silages. Sheep regained initial body weight after 15 days grazing at the end of the trial. In 
combined feed, initial body weight was regained at the ninth week of feeding the treatment silages, when gains were 75 to 
154 g/d. Productive performance, rumen fermentation and oxidative status of sheep fed diets supplemented with coffee 
pulp(8% and 16%) ensiled with 5% molasses were evaluated (Salinas-Rios et al., 2015). The study concluded that a 
supplemented sheep diet with coffee pulp up to 16% coffee pulp did not affect their productive parameters but reduced 
oxidative stress. 

Extraction of Phenolic Compounds 

Agro-industrial byproducts are good sources of phenolic compounds, and have been explored as sources of 
natural antioxidants (Fki and AlloucheNandsayadi, 2005). Ramirez-Coronel et al. (2004) found four major classes of 
polyphenols (viz., flavan-3-ols, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonols and anthocyanidins) in Arabica coffee pulp. For 
instance, the phenolic compounds tentatively identified by HPLC in fresh coffee pulp by Ramirez-Martinez (1988) are: 
chlorogenic acid (5-caffeoylquinic acid) (42.2% of the total of identified phenolic compounds), epicatechin (21.6%), 3,4- 
dicaffeoylquinic acid, (5.7%), 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (19.3%), 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (4.4%), catechin (2.2%), rutin 
(2.1%), protocatechuic acid (1.6%) and ferulic acid (1.0%). Later on, Clifford and Ramirez-Martinez (1991) additionally 
identified 5-feruloylquinic acid in coffee pulp. 

In a study involving coffee pulp derived from wet-processed fruits, Esquivel et al. (2010) identified cyanidin-3- 
rutinoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside and its aglycone as the major anthocyanins present before and after tissue browning. 
Characterization of anthocyanins, polyphenols, and the biological properties of coffee skin/pulp were recently investigated 
(Murthy et al., 2012; Murthy and Naidu, 2012). Anthocyanins were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography 
with photodiode array detection and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The anthocyanins from CP yielded 25 mg 



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of monomeric anthocyanins per 100 g of fresh pulp on a dry weight basis. The purified anthocyanin was identified as 
cyanindin-3-rutinoside and cyanidin-3-glucoside. The red color of coffee peels was attributed to the presence of cyanidin 
3-rutinoside, which was confirmed by hydrogen 1 nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) and carbon 13 nuclear magnetic 
resonance (13C-NMR). Coffee anthocyanins have shown multiple biological effects resulting in effective a-glucosidase 
and a-amylase inhibitory activities. It was concluded that coffee skin/pulp are potential sources of colorants and bioactive 
ingredients to be used in formulated foods (Murthy et al., 2012). Various methods have be stated for application in the 
separation of anthocyanins from coffee pulp, like solvent extraction, microwave assisted extraction, ultrasound assisted 
extraction, supercritical fluid extraction and enzymatic extraction by Hartati et al. (2012), though suitable method is yet to 
be found out. Condensed tannins (proanthocyanidins) are also important constituents of the fresh coffee pulp (Clifford & 
Ramirez Martinez, 1991). 

Aroma Compounds and Food Products 

Adriane at al., 2003 reported that coffee pulp and husk can be used as substrates for C.fimbriata for aroma 
production using SSF. Twenty-one volatile compounds corresponding to higher alcohols, acetates, terpenes, aldehydes, 
and volatile acids were identified by GC-FID when coffee byproducts obtained from semi-washed process was used as a 
substrate (Bonilla-Hermosa et al., 2014). Hanseniasporauvarum showed the best fermentation performance with 12 % w/v 
of coffee pulp, lg/L of yeast extract and 0.3 g/L of inoculums. Fresh coffee pulp can be easily processed into various food 
commodities like jam, juice, concentrate, jelly and flavouring (Murthu and Naidu, 2012). 

Ethanol Production 

Early studies indicated that biofuel fermented just from CP contained only 2. 5-3.0% ethanol (w/v), which would 
require high energy costs during the distillation stage (Adams and Dougan, 1987). Later, Kefale et al. (2012) studied a 
suitable condition for hydrolysis and fermentation for bioethanol production from coffee pulp using commercial bakers’ 
yeasts proving it to be a potential feedstock for bioethanol production in Ethiopia. A 90% maximum total sugar 
concentration was obtained at 4h acid-free hydrolysis. The maximum ethanol concentration of 7.4g/l was obtained with 
distilled water hydrolysis for 4 and 24h of fermentation. It was observed that ethanol concentration decreased with 
increases in acid concentration, hydrolysis time, and fermentation time. The production of ethanol by fermentation of CP 
extracts was studied by Menezes et al.( 2013). The effects of heat treatment and comminution on the yield and composition 
of CP extracts were evaluated before fermentation, and grinding followed by pressing at room temperature was found to be 
most efficient. Five different fermentation media were tested for ethanol production: sugarcane juice or molasses diluted 
with water or with CP extract and a medium with only CP extract. The addition of CP extract to sugarcane juice or 
molasses did not influence the fermentation or yeast viability, and thus it was concluded that the mixture can be used for 
the production of bio-ethanol, with a yield of approximately 70g/l. 

Composting and Vermin-Composting 

Composting and vermin-composting is a cost effective technology which could be used at industrial level for 
recycling the industrial wastes. Composting of coffee pulp was described in earlier studies (Adams and Dougan, 
1987). Decomposition occurs spontaneously in case of coffee pulp, and if not controlled, can result in severe problems, 
including the proliferation of flies and foul odors, soil infiltration, and others. Furthermore, it has the physical effect of 
increasing soil’s water retention and should improve the long-term quality of the soil. 



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Coffee pulp is slow in decomposition. Raphael and Volmourougane (2011) evaluated the efficiency of an exotic 
and a native earthworm from a coffee farm in the decomposition of CP into valuable vermin-compost. Exotic earthworms 
were found to degrade the CP faster than the native worms, but both vermin-composting efficiency and yield were found to 
be significantly higher with native worms. 

Silage 

Coffee pulp is rich in potassium and other mineral nutrients, which has resulted in studies of their application as 
organic fertilizers without any treatment or after composting. Silage tests to study the reductions of anti-physiological 
compounds (caffeine and polyphenols) of fresh coffee pulp during the anaerobic fermentation were done (Porres et al., 
1994). A concrete silo divided into four compartments, with a total capacity of 90 tons of fresh material was utilized. The 
silage periods ranged between 99-224 days and the four parts included coffee pulp, coffee pulp with sugarcane molasses, 
coffee pulp with a mixture of molasses and ammonia and screw pressed coffee pulp with molasses. It was concluded that 
in case of coffee pulp silage presents and ideal method to preserve the material and partially reduce the contents of 
anti-physiological components. The addition of 5 % molasses and mechanical pressing of fresh coffee pulp improved the 
quality of the ensiled material. 

CONCLUSIONS 

Coffee is the second largest traded product after petroleum. Therefore, increasing demands for coffee production 
leads to increasing amount of waste generation which causes environmental problems. Although attempts have been made 
to reuse coffee pulp, till date there are only few ways for exploitation of the by-products. Valorization of these wastes 
should be developed to reduce disposal problems and also to generate value added products. 

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